BISON A LA MODE DE BOURGOGNE

Living in Kansas we have access to excellent bison meat, in fact not too long ago the husband went to a farm near our town and brought home several packages of bison meat, some for stew, some ground. This is my adaptation of a French classic, some components will be missing to accommodate our food sensitivities. As usual, brown food is so tricky to get nice pictures, so trust me when I say this is delicious, perfect comfort food for the weather we are experiencing.

BISON A LA MODE DE BOURGOGNE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

5 strips of thick bacon, cut in large pieces
several tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds bison stew meat, cut in pieces
salt and pepper to taste
4 large carrots, peeled, cut in 1/4 inch slices
2 shallots, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz)
1 bouquet garni, made with parsley, thyme and bay leaves
1 bottle red wine
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon butter
fresh parsley, minced

Sauce the bacon without any added fat, until golden brown and starting to get crispy. Remove pieces to a paper towel to drain excess fat. Take one tablespoon of bacon fat, add to a Dutch oven and add a little more olive oil. Season the bison meat with salt and pepper, and sautée in batches until it starts to get brown. Remove to a bowl, and add the bacon pieces to the bowl.

If needed, add more oil to the pan and sauté the carrots and shallots for 5 minutes or so. Add the tomatoes, the wine, and the bouquet garni. Deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon, then place the meat and bacon back. Season with a little more salt, cover the pan, and place in a 325 F oven for 3 hours. Check after 2 hours to make sure it is not getting too dry. If there is very little liquid, add water. Meat should be super tender at the end of cooking.

About 10 minutes before serving, saute the mushrooms in butter, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms to the bison stew, add fresh parsley and serve. Adjust seasoning if needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: Bison is a fantastic type of meat, very flavorful but not excessively fatty. A little bit of bacon, is not only traditional, but needed when using such a lean meat, it does pump up the flavor. The amount of liquid might seem excessive (full bottle of wine!) but in fact I had to add quite a bit more water after 2 hours. If you are in our team, that is – heading to real cold weather – consider making a big batch. Comfort food at its best!

ONE YEAR AGO: Masala Mashed Potatoes

TWO YEARS AGO: Lessons from Tanya: Sugar Cookie Silhouettes

THREE YEARS AGO: Cherry-Chipotle Chicken Thighs

FOUR YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Mini-Mousse with Sugared Cranberries

FIVE YEARS AGO: You Say Ebelskiver, I say Falafel

SIX YEARS AGO: Happy Thanksgiving!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Two Takes on Raspberries

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Spice Cake with Blackberry Puree & The Global Pastry Review

NINE YEARS AGO: Own Your Kitchen with Cappuccino Panna Cotta

TEN YEARS AGO: Chicken Parmigiana, the Thriller

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Wild Mushroom Risotto

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Tartine Bread:  Basic Country Loaf 

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO:  Pugliese Bread

VANILLA MINI-CAKES WITH HONEY PEARS

The cake batter for these cupcakes is very simple to make, the only other step needed is preparing the pear topping, but if you want to make your life real easy, you can do that the day before and keep it in the fridge. They don’t need anything but a light shower with powdered sugar.


VANILLA MINI-CAKES WITH HONEY PEARS
(adapted from several sources)

for the pear topping:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, cut in small cubes
1/3 cup (65g) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey


for the cakes:
3/4 cup (185g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
4 large (200g) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 + 1/3 cups (160g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

powdered sugar


Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet, add the pears and sauté for 5 minutes, until tender. Add brown sugar and honey, cook until pears are evenly coated, about a minute or so. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and put in the fridge until needed.

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 8 mini-cake pans with non-stick spray. Beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating constantly. Add the vanilla. Which the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and sift that mixture into the butter/egg, mixing gently until combined.


Divide the batter among cups, filling a little more than half-full. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pear mixture on top of the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about 25 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before un-molding. Right before serving, add a little powdered sugar on top with a sieve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: For the cakes, I used one of my favorite pans, which I bought a long time ago on eBay. I have not been able to find a source to get it in the US, but you can see it here. It is the same pan I’ve used for mini Victoria cakes (flash back post here). It bakes like a dream, and since the bottom is loose, you can push the cakes out easily. I love the look of the mini-cakes, they get perfectly straight edges. If you don’t have a similar pan, use a regular cupcake pan. Maybe the number and size of your cakes will be different but it will work.

The same approach will work with other fruits, and I also think pineapple could be wonderful, so that’s an idea for future adventures…

ONE YEAR AGO: Buttermilk Roast Chicken

TWO YEARS AGO: Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes in Yogurt-Curry Sauce

THREE YEARS AGO: Panettone, Wild-Yeast Version

FOUR YEARS AGO: Turkey Chili Under Pressure

FIVE YEARS AGO: Tiramisu Macarons

SIX YEARS AGO: Cider Mini-Cheesecakes with Caramel Sauce

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Rustic Ciabatta and Mini-Meatloaves

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Green Rice

NINE YEARS AGO: Potato-Crusted Italian Mini-Quiches

TEN YEARS AGO: Beetroot Sourdough for the Holidays

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Cod Filet with Mustard Tarragon Crust

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Soba Noodles: Light and Healthy

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO: Potato-Rosemary Bread

COMPRESSED EGGPLANT & GRUYERE SLICES

This recipe blew my little mind… You need two special gadgets to make it, a mandolin-type slicer and a vacuum sealer. My slicer is an OXO, easier to work and adjust than the original French model. Super thin slices of eggplant with a little cheese in the middle get compressed and later roasted at high temperature. It is eggplant like I’ve never had before.

COMPRESSED EGGPLANT & GRUYERE SLICES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Chef Tony Botella)

1 large eggplant, sliced very thin (3mm maximum) with a mandolin
Gruyere cheese cut in thin slices
Herbes de Provence to taste
salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
balsamic vinegar to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Lay one eggplant slice on a flat surface, place a slice of cheese in the center, sprinkle with Herbes the Provence. Place another eggplant slice on top, carefully slide into a vacuum-sealable bag. Once all the little sandwiches are done, seal the bag. Place in the fridge for at least one hour, but you can leave it for a couple of days.

Fifteen minutes before dinner, remove them from the bag and place on a silicone mat, gently brush with olive oil gently on both sides, season with salt. Roast at 425F for 12 minutes, until golden. A little cheese might escape to the side, nothing wrong with that, the silicone mat makes it easier to lift.

Cut each slice in half, place in a serving dish, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle almonds on top.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe click here

Comments: The key to this recipe is slicing the eggplant very thin. I doubt you will be able to do it by hand, so a mandolin is a must. I think different types of cheese could be fun to try, for instance a cheese with Habanero to heat things up. But it must be a reasonably sturdy cheese to avoid excessive melting. Gruyere was perfect.

I normally don’t care for the eggplant skin, but in this preparation it did not hurt anything. I will be making this again soon. It would be great as a little special appetizer at a dinner party, with a nice sourdough bread to go with it. Or as a first course on a meal. A fun new technique to play with!

ONE YEAR AGO: Charcoal-Painted Spelt Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Lime-Ganache Bonbons

THREE YEARS AGO: The Dobos Torte

FOUR YEARS AGO: Coffee-Caramel Entremet Cake

FIVE YEARS AGO: Fennel Soup with Almond-Mint Topping

SIX YEARS AGO: Eataly

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Spaghetti Squash Perfection

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Skinny Eggplant Parmigiana

NINE YEARS AGO: Supernova Meets Wok

TEN YEARS AGO500 Posts and The Best Thing I ever made

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Back in Los Angeles

TWELVE YEARS AGO: White House Macaroni and Cheese

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO: Korean-Style Pork with Asian Slaw

VEGAN CASHEW BUTTER BONBONS

These are absolutely luscious and not that hard to make as – believe it or not – you won’t have to temper chocolate to make them. The silicone mold is also optional, you can use mini-muffin tins, although I am not sure how easy or tricky it might be to get the bonbons out.


VEGAN CASHEW BUTTER BONBONS
(inspired by Vegan Treats)

115g cacao butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons creamy cashew butter
gold luster powder to decorate (optional)

If using gold luster powder, brush the inside of the molds with it. Reserve.

Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave using very low power. As soon as it melts, stop heating it. Stir the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Pour the mixture in the molds filling it halfway. Place the mold in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set.

Remove from the fridge, spoon a small amount of cashew butter in the center of each cavity, then pour the remaining chocolate on top to cover completely the cashew butter. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before un-molding the bonbons. For added safety, I like to place the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Store in the fridge for about 10 days. They stay well at room temperature for at least a couple of hours.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This is really super easy and the results go beyond the effort by a long shot. I do not have a link for the mold which I’ve had for a long time, but many different shapes and sizes will work, just do a search online. They will stay good in the fridge for a long time, but won’t melt at room temperature, I actually left them sitting over a counter for a couple of days and nothing bad happened. The best option if you make them is to store them in the fridge and bring them to room temperature for one hour or so before indulging.

ONE YEAR AGO: Turkey-Bison Jalapeño Chili

TWO YEARS AGO: Chocolate Bonbons with Mango-Ganache Filling

THREE YEARS AGO:  Giant Cookie Meets Mousse

FOUR YEAR AGO: The Brazilian Battenberg

FIVE YEARS AGO: Salzburg Sourdough

SIX YEARS AGO: If I had One Hour

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Sourdough Rye Bread with Flaxseeds and Oats

NINE YEARS AGO: Apricot-Raspberry Sorbet: A farewell to Summer

TEN YEARS AGO: Marcela’s Salpicon

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Pork Kebabs

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Fondant au Chocolat

TWELVE YEARS AGOGot Spinach? Have a salad!

CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI

I adore Lolita, our air-fryer, and use it often. It does a wonderful job on many vegetables, and it is our default choice when we make cauliflower, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Zucchini is a bit tricky, unless sliced super thin and air-fried in very small batches. But now I finally found a method to make it shine… Crispy, tender, and a reasonable amount can be divided in just two portions without turning the pieces into mush. If you don’t own an air-fryer, check the comments after the recipe.

CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI
(adapted from several sources)

3 medium zucchini
1 + 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (vegan friendly) or grated Parmigiano cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix Panko, nutritional yeast (or cheese), salt and pepper. Reserve.

Trim off the ends of the zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the zucchini with the oil. Toss to coat.

Sprinkle the flour mix over the zucchini slices and mix gently to coat them.

Air-fry in two batches at 390F or as high as your fryer goes, for about 9 minutes, until golden brown. Shake the basket every once in a while. Once the first batch is done, air-fry the second portion, then join them both and air-fry for a minute or so together, just to heat the first batch again. You can also place the first portion in a low-oven to keep warm, but I found that not to be needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I used nutritional yeast simply because I love to play with ingredients and wanted to give it a try. It is salty and sharp, making it a very good substitute for cheese, so if you need to entertain a vegan guest, this recipe is for you. I am now finally satisfied with a method to air-fry zucchini, and suspect this will be a regular appearance in our meals. If you don’t own an air-fryer, use a 420F oven, spread the zucchini over a large baking sheet lined with parchment, and roast until golden brown, probably 20 to 25 minutes.

ONE YEAR AGO: Pasta with Cremini Mushroom Ragu

TWO YEARS AGO: A Magical Marinade

THREE YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Sourdough

FOUR YEARS AGO: First Monday Favorite

FIVE YEARS AGO: Secret Recipe Club: Paalak Paneer, a Farewell Post

SIX YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, November 2015

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Helen Fletcher’s Oatmeal Cookies

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Thai-Style Pesto with Brown Rice Pasta

NINE YEARS AGO: Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

TEN YEARS AGO:  A Simple Appetizer (Baked Ricotta)

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Sour Cream Sandwich Bread

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Pasta with Zucchini Strands and Shrimp